Research on maternal involvement with a handicapped child has frequently focused on discrete behaviours rather than on more general aspects of the interaction, although it has been suggested that the quality and sensitivity of maternal involvement may be more salient to the development of the child. While it is clear that characteristics of both mother and child influence the relationship, considering the complex nature of the maternal and child factors, the separate contributions of each have not been adequately studied. This study of 176 mother-child pairs was designed to investigate child characteristics that might affect the amount, quality and appropriateness of maternal behaviour. Results indicated that, although the amount of maternal involvement was unrelated to child characteristics, the severity of the handicap, the interactive behaviour, and temperament type of the child accounted for a significant percentage of both the quality and appropriateness of the mother's behaviour.
Handicapped child characteristics and maternal involvement